Forty-two percent of Americans eat fast food at least every other day. People consume more calories and receive less nutrition at drive-in counter at junk food restaurants than in any other meal situation. Perhaps fast food can be a small part of a healthy eating plan, but most people simply eat way too much of these stuff.
According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Americans’ overindulgence in junk food and drive-in restaurants implies that nearly half of the US population is eating junk food three times or more each week! This report reveals that young people, between 10 to 39 years old, eat the most fast food. In the past, such adolescents have only eaten fast food about twice weekly. Fast food consumption is on the rise!
What effect does this have on overall diet? Children, adolescents and adults who consume junk food consistently eat far less fruit, vegetables, dairy and legumes than those who avoid the junk food restaurants all together. Fast food eaters chow down on more fried foods (french fries?) and slurp down more sugary soft drinks (Large size?). More fast food means that consumption of calories, saturated fat and sodium goes up, while intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber go down.
Of course, junk food doesn’t absolutely have to equate a poor diet. However, when people feel under time-pressure or when they are away from home, they tend to see it as a convenience or “survival” food as its immediate priority. Healthy eating usually becomes the least option for choices. Some fast food restaurants are beginning to offer “healthier” meal on their menu. They even offers vegetable and low-fat diet meal as an option.
Still, the buying habits revealed in this study did not show people opting for healthier food. This report suggests that people should begin choosing lower-fat meals and should reduce their fast food consumption of calories, fat, and saturated fat. Even choosing diet drinks or water at such places can save an immense load of calories.
Also when you buy drive-in food, think carefully about size portion of all meat, fries, and dressings. It’s okay to order a “small!” At about 200 calories, you won’t overdo it like you would with a 600 calorie jumbo size. The drive-in food industry’s “value marketing” strategy leads many consumers to think that they are saving money by ordering very large portions for only slightly higher cost. That strategy just means that you are paying more to overeat! Where’s the savings in that?
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